New eruptions from the Kilauea volcano have left some Hawaii residents stranded with no electricity or running water in an area entirely cut off by lava.
Hawaii Civil Defense Service officials said about a dozen people that they know of are stranded in the area, CNN reported. Phone lines and cell towers are also out in the area.
“There’s no way out,” BBC correspondent Kylie Morris told viewers, according to The Express.
“It’s extraordinary. I can see a road, a freeway, down there where there’s just a tiny circle that is still visible and all the rest of it completely covered up by the magma,” said Morris, who was traveling over the isolated area by helicopter.
Last week, officials encouraged residents to leave and said some areas have now become off limits to rescue teams.
“I can no longer ask of … police, fire, National Guard, to go in the dark of a neighborhood they don’t know, to say ‘you must get out now,'” Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said Tuesday. “Last night I told them I can no longer afford to put residents at risk.”
Officials have said those who remain could be airlifted out if necessary.
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The eruption, which has destroyed 87 homes in the past four weeks, could encircle more locales, officials said, citing the community of Kapoho and MacKenzie State Park, which could be cut off soon.
Residents were advised to evacuate by Friday afternoon.
“They are being asked to leave. Period,” said county spokeswoman Janet Snyder.
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On Sunday, U.S. Geological Survey officials said lava from the volcano added a lake to the list of what has been destroyed since the volcano began erupting.
On Saturday, the lava crawled into Green Lake. The Hawaii County Fire Department said the lava filled the lake and evaporated its water, AccuWeather reported.
“It’s possible that new explosions will blast through the rubble at the bottom of the vent. These may or may not be larger than the previous explosions,” said Kyle Anderson, a Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geophysicist.
As if lava flows are not enough to worry about, officials said the problem of laze awaits. Laze is a deadly combination created when lava meets the sea.
“Lava entering the ocean causes a chemical reaction and can result in small explosions, sending tiny particles of hydrochloric acid and volcanic glass in the air,” Jessica Johnson, a geophysicist at Britain’s University of East Anglia told USA Today.
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